five o clock sun

I want it to be fall here, and it is not. It is stubbornly equatorial Kenyan weather, gorgeous in its own right, but not quite what I’m after.

This is the part of the show where I miss home, and I don’t even know where, exactly, I mean by that. Home is the slivers of memory, pressed clear like glass, of all the places and people woven into my bones.

kenya sunrise


Like this: I’m seven or maybe eight or ten, standing in a blackened night thick with stars. Light pools from the open glass doors of the rec center where my church folk are gathered in the after-nativity crush of red punch and cookies and shepherds’ robes.

And this: The kids are squealing about snow, Mom! and so we wriggle into fat coats and mittens. They hop around the yard like chickadees, the sky falling white around us.

Or this: I’m propped on a step-stool in my grandma’s kitchen, leaning over caramel pots, dipping apples with skin as bright as Christmas. The farm outside stings with cold, but we are sock-toed and washed in contentment.

berries in the snow

Home is a funny concept, all at once sharp and slippery, piercing and hazy. For years now, the mister and I have asked each other, And now? If you were to be buried now, where would it be? Because morbid though it is, that is maybe the quick and painful test for Where Is Home. But neither of us can ever make sense of it—so many places feel right, and everywhere is wrong. These days I can’t even settle on a continent.



But here’s what I know. As much as our hearts can be sojourners, wandering through a world both dark and miraculous, there is a just-right home ahead with the One who authored the earth. And all these places and people of kinship along the way are just echoes, shadows of Home, whispers that light my blood with a keen longing for a place I’ve yet to see.

That’s missions in a nutshell. Existence in a nutshell. Kindling weary hearts with a flare for our Father, trudging desert ground together, all the while pointing the dusty way back to our King.

Author: nic

saved by grace.

4 thoughts

    1. Thanks, Olivia! Sorry I’m just now seeing your comment. Micah sent you a postcard, which I’m hoping you’ve received. We sure are fond of you, and we appreciate so much how you’ve made it a point to keep in touch. Thanks for being a great friend to our kiddo. 🙂


  1. You are an amazing writer. So gifted to find the words to say much in just a little space. I am much too verbose. 🙂 Love the pictures of you as a kid. Especially the one with you, Noel and Nathan covered in mud. Just like I remember you 3. Looking forward to catching up someday when we all are eternally home.


    1. hey dearie! thanks for your sweet note–it somehow got stuck in spamland, and i only just spotted it today. i have the best memories of us being ‘gymnasts’ in your front yard (with our coordinating white/blue, red/blue striped leotards and headbands). 🙂 as i recall it, you actually knew some snazzy gymnast moves, whereas i could occasionally pull off a cartwheel if the wind was just right.

      so thankful for your friendship through the decades, and especially your tender heart for Jesus and people.


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